Prominent Boulder-area realtor Curtis Hilty was found guilty in April of two felonies -- sexual assault on a helpless victim and sex assault-overcoming a victim's will -- for raping a twenty-year-old babysitter while she slept.
Yet when he was sentenced yesterday, a judge gave him only thirty days in jail to go along with twenty years' worth of probation. Why?
Hilty is well known in area real estate circles, achieving multi-million-dollar-producer status and serving as director of the Boulder Realtor Association and the Colorado Association of Realtors since he started in the business back in 1992, this agent profile maintains. And according to the Boulder Daily Camera report on the sentencing, he had no criminal record prior to the startling incident that took place on May 1 of last year.
That evening, the victim, who'd reportedly known Hilty her entire life through a family relationship, was babysitting. Hilty returned home at around 10 p.m., and even though he'd obviously been drinking prior to his arrival, he cracked open a bottle of wine and shared some with the sitter. She nodded off about an hour later, then awoke to discover Hilty performing oral sex on her, after which he switched to intercourse.
The shocked woman pushed Hilty away and ran out of the house crying. She eventually flagged down a passing motorist and made her escape.
At the sentencing, the victim made it clear how much damage had been done to her by this act, saying that it had destroyed her life and left her feeling shattered. She requested that Hilty be sent to prison for at least a year if not more.
But Judge Thomas Ensor instead chose to give him thirty days in jail and two decades' worth of probation because Colorado's sex-crime laws made it possible that Hilty might wind up being sentenced to life in prison, and he didn't think that was reasonable in this instance. So he opted for thirty days in jail and twenty years of probation to ensure that if Hilty re-offended -- which he promised not to do -- he would get the hefty prison sentence a two-time violator deserves.
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Ensor's position earned some sympathy from Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, who also decries the lack of sentencing options in Colorado. He calls for the state legislature to rewrite laws so all sex crimes aren't treated the same.
If a legislator wants a reason why such action is necessary, he or she need look no further than the thirty days given convicted rapist Curtis Hilty.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Charles & Marilyn Long murders: Delay in deciding if 12-year-old son to be tried as adult."